From November 3 to 5, 2017, MUTEK.JP returned for its second edition headquartered in the futuristic setting of Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, Tokyo. Following its inaugural 2016 edition MUTEK.JP showed its intent on establishing a recurrent electronic music and digital arts festival in a city reputed for its innovative culture, but previously without such a contemporary framework. In keeping with the MUTEK mission the festival embarked on a multi-day adventure that transformed Tokyo into one of the globe’s cultural hubs for technological artistry — connecting local and international scenes, fostering deep creative exchange and invigorating new audiences and community.
Edition 2 by numbers
- More than 7,000 festival entries during 3 days
- Presented a total of 17 programs on 7 stages across 2 venues in Odaiba and around Shibuya, Tokyo incl. audiovisual performances, discourse program, workshops, and exhibitions
- 65 artists from 9 countries incl. 40 local Japanese and 25 international involved in audiovisual and live performances, and the exhibition program
- Supported by 50 partner organizations
Aalko aka Akiko Kiyama JP / Daito Manabe & Nosaj Thing JP+US / DUB SQUAD JP / Francesco Tristano LU / Galcid JP / Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts CA/QC / Hatis Noit & Nobumichi Asai JP / HVOB AT / Intercity Express & Synichi Yamamoto JP / James Holden and the Animal Spirits UK / Kazuya Nagaya & Metametric JP+CA/QC / Kenji Williams US / Kuniyuki JP / Monolake DE / Myriam Bleau CA/QC / Nicolas Bernier CA/QC / Nonotak JP+FR / Maotik FR/QC / PI-GE JP / Qosmo JP / Rival Consoles UK / VJ MANAMI JP / Woulg & Push 1 Stop CA/QC / Yoshinori Sunahara JP / Yuseok Bak KR / 100LDK JP
On November 3 the opening night of the Nocturne program saw a quadraphonic sound performance by none other than Monolake, who was preceded by the groundbreaking audiovisual performance of Nosaj Thing and Daito Manabe. Earlier the night, the Japanese-French duo Nonotak delivered Shiro, a performance with a unique multi-screen setup, which followed performances by local hero Yoshinori Sunahara and Quebecois media artist Nicolas Bernier.
The second Nocturne showcase on November 4 presented an audiovisual fest with the likes of multidisciplinary artist Myriam Bleau presenting Soft Revolvers and a massive performance by British audiovisual artist Rival Consoles, which truly transcended the worlds of image and sound. The night then turned more musical with live performances by the moody and atmospheric duo HVOB and the psychedelic and trance inducing sounds of James Holden & The Animal Spirits.
For its 2nd edition the A/Visions series migrated to the immersive environment of Miraikan’s dome theater stage. Pushing the boundaries of immersive live performance in Japan the program presented a series of local and international acts. Over 3 days the dome theater saw the premiere of Synichi Yamamoto & Intercity-Express’ Noesis piece exploring the geographic nature of our earth. They were joined by the Japan premieres of Woulg & Push 1 stop’s abstract performance Interpolate and the French visual artist Maotik’s collaboration with none other than Max Cooper called Hyperform. The Sunday night then ventured into even more experimental territory when game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi collaborated with DJ legend Ken Ishii on a live performance surrounding the video game Rez Infinite simultaneously presented in the full-dome and in VR.
Dedicated to presenting the latest developments in Tokyo’s electronic music scene the Play series was the most recent addition to the MUTEK.JP program. Over 2 nights the program saw performances by local up-and-comers galcid, Hatis Noit & Nobumichi Asai, new projects by veterans such as Akiko Kiyama’s Aalko project, and innovative performances such as the AI DJ by Qosmo.
WOMB + Mutek.JP
On Saturday night MUTEK.JP ventured back to Shibuya for the all-night program. The main floor saw a series of live performances including Japanese legend Kuniyuki, MUTEK mainstay Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, and Francesco Tristano’s explorations of synths and sounds. The WOMB Lounge was taken over by the now legendary MUTEK Soundsystem.
Red Bull Music Festival Tokyo
For the closing night of the festival Red Bull Music Festival and MUTEK.JP joint forces for a one-off collaboration. The night opened with an atmospheric performance by sound artists Kazuya Nagaya and his Orin singing bowls together with Quebec-based musician Metametric. The performances were followed by appearances of Kenji Williams, Hifana, and Young Juvenile Youth with visuals by Push 1 stop.
Making extensive use of Miraikan’s various conference rooms and auditoriums the 2017 Digi Lab program presented a wide-range of inspiring talks and educational presentations. Becoming a MUTEK.JP mainstay after its inaugural edition, Touchdesigner joined for another 2-day workshop further cementing and developing the Tokyo digital arts community. Other highlights included interview sessions with both Robert Henke and James Holden picking their brains on artistic creation, inspiration and creative processes.
In another addition to its programming MUTEK.JP also premiered the first edition of its VR Salon presenting a variety of VR pieces in collaboration with the Phi Centre and Mawari Inc. The VR activities further extended into a workshop on 360 photo- and videography hosted by LIFE STYLE Inc.